© 2016, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. All rights reserved. In the context of a certain ‘back to the countryside’ move on the part of certain groups and in specific geographic areas, educated women are settling in the rural environment and from this position are helping to build the new rurality. This is a new phenomenon, seen in several rural areas of Spain and other countries in Europe, which is slowing down a sustained process of rural depopulation, selective in terms of age and gender, that has negatively affected young women. This article aims to illustrate the life journeys of some women from Catalonia and Galicia who have made the choice to live in rural areas, in the same municipality, county or province where they were born. Our aim is to ascertain, first, what factors have led them to live in the rural environment and, second, whether their return to their place of origin is related to family, work or social and environmental reasons, which could give us an insight into the way in which the new ruralities are being shaped. We explicitly relate women’s paths of residential mobility to their level of education and their occupation. The study reveals that socio-environmental and emotional factors are important in the desire to return and it indicates that, given equal educational backgrounds, there are differences in opportunities depending on the degree of rurality of the different areas.
- Residential mobility